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Title Theories-in-use and espoused theories: An examination of team decision-making in the initial special education eligibility meeting
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Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate whether education professionals’ theories-in-use were congruent with their espoused theories (Argyris & Schön, 1974) regarding the inclusion of parents as team decision-making partners in the initial special education eligibility meeting of individualized education programming (IEP) teams. Particular attention was given to procedural practices education professionals used to include parents as decision-making partners and their descriptions of this practice. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates the inclusion of parents as members of IEP teams, including their right to participate in the special education eligibility decision. Research supports the inclusion of parents as essential members of IEP teams, and their active participation is reported as pivotal for their children’s positive educational and social outcomes. Local education agency (LEA) representatives, special education teachers, and school psychologists are responsible for including parents in eligibility decision-making; thus they were the focus of this study. A total of 24 education professionals in eight schools from three Southeastern school districts constituted the research participants. Participants were observed in initial eligibility meetings and responded to a questionnaire and interview questions with descriptions of their procedural practices. Findings showed that education professionals’ described practices were more aligned to federal requirements than were their actual practices. Findings also showed that a subgroup of participants, LEA representatives, had limited knowledge of special education procedures. Implications of the study include the need for additional training designed to strengthen education professionals’ alignment of actual and espoused theories, particularly in the area of including parents as team decision-making partners.
Subjects/Keywords decision-making; eligibility meetings; theories-of-action; Educational Psychology; School Psychology; Special Education and Teaching
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:trace.tennessee.edu:utk_graddiss-4761
Repository utk-diss
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-01-07

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…actual and espoused theories, particularly in the area of including parents as team decision-making partners. Keywords: decision-making, eligibility meetings, theories-of-action ix Table of Contents Chapter 1 Introduction…

…29 Conceptual Framework ............................................................................................... 36 Theories-of-Action...................................................................................................... 36…

…procedural requirements that are designed to include team decisionmaking, this study uses Argyris and Schön’s (1974, 1978) theories-of-action frame, which is particularly well-suited as a diagnostic tool bringing awareness of people’s actions and…

…values, and beliefs (Argyris & Schön, 1974). Theories-in-use are people’s knowledge and understanding reflected in the behaviors that drive their actions (Savaya & Gardner, 2012). According to the theory-of-action frame, people’s…

…education professionals’ compliance to procedural requirements, personal features are not isolated and assessed. As a diagnostic tool, 6 theories-of-action account for knowing if what people espouse is congruent with their external actions. When a…

…exists. Through the theories-of-action lens, congruence or incongruence is identified. When incongruence is identified, actions can be implemented to address the incongruence and effect change. Theories-in-use are extrapolated from a person’s actions…

…Using the theories-in-use and espoused theories elements from Argyris and Schön’s (1974) theories-of-action frame, the following queries were intended to elicit empirical evidence specific to the research focus: 1. How do education…

…explain, or predict the professional’s behavior (espoused theory). Important to theory-of-action is the congruence, or lack of congruence, between theories-in-use (observed actions) behaviors) and espoused theories (described…

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